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Old Posted Feb 1, 2009, 7:11 PM
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France's population hits 65 million / Record number of births in 2008

Figures released by the French statistical office INSEE show that France has broken through the 65 million barrier for the first time. On January 1, 2009, there were exactly 65,073,482 inhabitants in the French Republic. 62,448,997 of these lived in Metropolitan France (the European part of France), and the rest in Overseas France.

INSEE also indicated that there were 834,000 births in France in 2008 (801,000 of these in Metropolitan France), the highest number of births since 1981, surpassing even the record number of 2006.

Last but not least, the French fertility rate broke though the symbolic 2.0 barrier for the first time since 1974 (which was the last year of the post-war baby-boom in France). In 2008 the French fertility rate was 2.02 (in Metropolitan France proper it was 2.00).

In 2005, INSEE made some projections for the French population. In their central scenario, they predicted 69.96 million inhabitants in Metropolitan France in 2050, but this central scenario is already lagging behind reality (it predicted 61,996,275 inhabitants in Metropolitan France on January 1, 2009, which is 452,702 short of reality). With the figures released yesterday, we're more in a scenario that would see Metropolitan France reach 80 million inhabitants in 2050 (taking into account the propable decline of births and increase of deaths to come), and the entire French Republic reach 84 million.
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Old Posted Feb 1, 2009, 7:15 PM
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Here's an article published yesterday by the Paris Correspondent for The Times:
http://timescorrespondents.typepad.c...baby-race.html

Quote:
France leads the baby race

By Charles Bremner,
Paris Correspondent for The Times
January 13, 2009



Here's another reason for France to cheer up. The country is enjoying its biggest baby boom for three decades.

In 2008, 800,000 babies were born in continental France, a figure not achieved since 1981, according to figures today from the National Statistical Institute. The fertility rate rose in 2008 from 1.97 to 2.02 children per woman, consolidating France's lead over the rest of Europe.

The Europeans have lately produced on average 1.5 children per woman. The EU's 2008 figures are not out yet, but Ireland was second behind France in 2007 and Slovakia was bottom at 1.25.

The rising birth figures are testimony to the success of France's long-standing effort, following long population decline, to encourage people to have children. I don't need to run through all the generous (expensive) state-provided child care benefits, the free nursery schools, travel subsidiess and the family allowances than can reach 500 euros a month.

The return to work last week of Rachida Dati, the Justice Minister, five days after giving birth, was an exception to the tradition of long, paid maternity leave. One of Dati's Cabinet colleagues has just suggested making the 16 weeks' paid leave compulsory for all working women.

If recent trends continue, France will overtake Germany as Europe's most populous nation around the middle of this century. The new year began with 64.3 million inhabitants [that's the population of Metropolitan and the four oveseas departments, excluding the seven overseas collectivities], 366,500 more than in 2008. Germany has 82.4 million but has long suffered from a low fertility rate of below 1.4. Russia, with its big demographic problem, managed to get back to that level in 2007 from 1.2 in 2000. The United Kingdom, with a population of just under 61 million, has been doing better lately with a 1.85 fertility rate and it could also overtake Germany.

France is approaching the fertility of the United States, which, with its influx of young immigrants, is usually held up as the model for ageing Europe. The expected US rate for 2008 is 2.1. The very healthy French birth rate is certainly helped by the fairly large and young part of the population of recent immigrant origin -- as in Britain and Germany. Public discussion of the role of immigrants in the population growth is still largely taboo in France, though this is changing.

The French figures are impressive because the population is ageing faster than that of the USA and other regions outside Europe. The number of women of child-bearing age -- mainly born in the 1970s and 80s -- has been shrinking by two percent a year for the past two years. The average age of motherhood has now risen to nearly 30. Another big change from the old days is that 52 percent of children were born to unmarried parents. The figure was only six percent in 1970.

That's a big load of statistics, but they tell a story. The good population news is an example of the intelligent long-term policies in which France has excelled in recent decades. It was echoed, in the economic domain this week in a Newsweek magazine column headlined: The Last Model Standing is France.
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Old Posted Feb 1, 2009, 11:50 PM
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It's good to see a high French birth rate!
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 4:29 AM
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America is above 2.0 for birthrate, right?
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 1:15 PM
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I did not realize that France had such a healthy birthrate.
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 7:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
I did not realize that France had such a healthy birthrate.
They say that a fertility rate of 2.1 is what is required for a country to maintain its population without taking immigration into account.

It's true that France does have a pretty good fertility rate, but it also seems like it's costing them a pretty penny.

France has, I think, 3 years of paid maternitly leave per child? This is in addition to free nursery schools, free health care, and subsidized child care?

If you're in the middle class in the US, you get I think 12 weeks of UNpaid maternity leave, and you're completely on your own for health care, and for child care you're on your own too until your kids are old enough for kindergarten.
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 9:49 PM
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Originally Posted by myshtern View Post
America is above 2.0 for birthrate, right?
In 2006, the last year available, the total fertility rate (TFR) in the US was exactly 2.10, but the TFR of non-Hispanic White women was only 1.86.

This is the TFR for various races in the US, in 2006:
Non-Hispanic White women: 1.86
Asian women: 1.92
Non-Hispanic Black women: 2.12
Hispanic women: 2.96 (among them: Mexican women 3.11; Puerto Rican women: 2.17; Cuban women: 1.60)
Women of all races in the US: 2.10

In France the TFR in 2008 was like this:
French-born women: 1.90
Immigrant women: 2.60
All women living in France: 2.02

As you can see, the TFR of the non-immigrant French women is slightly higher than the TFR of non-Hispanic White women in the US. The reason why the US have a higher TFR than France overall is because they have much more immigrants, Hispanic immigrants in particular.

Here is the TFR in Switzerland for comparison (Switerland is a typical example of the fertility situation in Central Europe), for the year 2007:
Swiss women (with Swiss citizenship): 1.33
Foreign women living in Switzerland: 1.86
All women living in Switzerland: 1.46
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 10:18 PM
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I don't think that it is so fair to compare french born woman with white woman in USA.
French born woman include black, arab, asian...
For a more accurated comparaison, we should compare it with USA born woman.
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 11:21 PM
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It's only a matter of time before France overtake Germany.
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minato Ku View Post
I don't think that it is so fair to compare french born woman with white woman in USA.
French born woman include black, arab, asian...
For a more accurated comparaison, we should compare it with USA born woman.
French-born women are of course not all White (they are like 95% White), but the 5% or so non-White French-born women have fertility rates that are almost the same as White French women, because the children and grandchildren of immigrants adopt the same birth patterns as the society their parents and grandparents moved to, so it doesn't change what I said in my previous post. If there were ethnic censuses in France, you'd see that the fertility rate of White French women is 1.90, nearly the same as French-born women.
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Old Posted Feb 2, 2009, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Nicko999 View Post
It's only a matter of time before France overtake Germany.
It should happen before the middle of the century according to population projections.
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2009, 12:29 AM
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France is never going to overtake Germany...
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2009, 9:30 AM
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Originally Posted by SHiRO View Post
France is never going to overtake Germany...
Would you like to explain this? We all know German birthrates are dramatic and he figure of immigration isn't enough to support a population growth.


Wikipedia

The project German population in 2050:


Wikipedia
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2009, 12:24 PM
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You do realize that it is 2009 and that "the middle of the century" is 2050?

You can't predict demography 40 years into the future, as a small change on the short term can have huge consequences over such a long period of time.
All I'm saying is that it is highly unlikely that in 40 years demographics have caused France to have a bigger population than Germany. For such a thing to really happen, there need to be much more dramatic circumstances than today's birthrates and low immigration, which afterall could be different next year (immigration moreso than birthrates).
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2009, 1:42 PM
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There are people who just can't accept facts. However you look at it, and no matter what scenario is used in the population projections, France will have a larger population than Germany in 2050. For Germany to still have a larger population than France in 2050 would require:
- either a big increase of the German fertility rate (unlikely; we're talking of a big increase here, something like going from 1.4 to 1.9 or so, not a small increase; the final descendence of German women has been very low for 30 years already, it's a long term trend)
- or massive immigration in Germany (and I mean MASSIVE, i.e. net migration superior to +300,000 every year until 2050; as we all know, the German society is not ready for immigration on such a scale)
- or a big fall of the French fertility (again, not a small fall, but a big fall, something like going from 2.0 to 1.5; since fertility rates tend to follow long term trends, I don't see this big fall very likely)

So the chances that any of these three conditions materializes are not totally impossible, but they are very low. It's like snow in June. Not totally impossible (it snowed in Western Europe in June 1787), but very low chances.

For an idea of the more likely scenarios:
- in 2050 France should have between 74 million and 84 million inhabitants. 74 million is the central scenario of the French statistical office, based on a net migration of +100,000 per year, but so far it is lagging behind reality (i.e. the French population these past years has been growing faster than in the central scenario, due to higher fertility than expected). In the high scenario of the French statistical office, which is the scenario that matches the population growth observed these past years, France would have 84 million inhabitants in 2050.
- in 2050, according to the central scenario of the German statistical office, Germany would have 74 million inhabitants if there is a net migration of +200,000 every year, 69 million inhabitants if there is a net migration of +100,000 every year, and 62.5 million inhabitants if net migration is 0 (as many people leave Germany as move to Germany). In 2008 the net migration in Germany was 0. In 2007 it was +43,912.
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2009, 7:25 PM
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Bla bla bla...

dude it's not going to happen. 300,000 year for a country like Germany is peanuts. Spain added 400,000 a year in the last 10 years and Germany is twice as big and in the middle of Europe.

Also your ASSumption that France is going to sustain its birthrate for another 40 years is not entirely scientific.

Boosterism on forums is an ugly thing...
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2009, 9:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SHiRO View Post
300,000 year for a country like Germany is peanuts. Spain added 400,000 a year in the last 10 years and Germany is twice as big and in the middle of Europe.
Spain has sustained these very high migration rates for only 10 years, not for 40 years. Here we're talking of 41 straight years with a net migration above +300,000 that would be needed. It's completely unrealistic.

In the past 10 years the net migration in Germany has been +123,195 per year on average, a far cry from +300,000. And in recent years the net migration in Germany has dwindled despite attempts of the German government to attract qualified immigrants.
2005: +78,953
2006: +22,791
2007: +43,912
2008: 0 (according to preliminary estimates of the German statistical office)

The reason why the net migration has dwindled is because many young Germans leave Germany to settle in Austria and Switzerland where they find better job opportunities. It's the German statistical office who say it, not me, for the records. For example in 2007, 680,766 immigrants came to Germany, but 636,854 people left Germany, so the net migration was only +43,912.
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Also your ASSumption that France is going to sustain its birthrate for another 40 years is not entirely scientific.
It's not "my" assumption, it's the assumption of the French statistical office. And they didn't assume France was going to sustain the current 2.0 fertility rate, they only assumed France would sustain a 1.9 fertility rate to make their population projections.
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2009, 9:39 PM
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So 40 years is completely unrealistic when it comes to immigration, but not when it comes to current population trends?

Neither you nor INSEE nor anyone else can accurately predict 40 years into the future. You don't know what the death-, birth- and immigrationrates are going to be! Maybe people will live to be a 120 in 10 years...Maybe Germany succeeds in attracting a lot of those needed immigrants...maybe for some reason many French will move to Germany even..., the point is noone knows. Things could look very different even a year from now. In demograpics, there is no such thing as "a long term trend" that can be projected into the future. And using current figures and projecting them into the future gets exponentionally more inaccurate every year you take it further.

It is completely unrealistic to assume that Germany is "just" going to loose nearly 20 million people and France will just keep cruising along.
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2009, 10:05 PM
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It's pretty sad that we have to bribe our women to have children. It's the same here in Norway and our population is increasing.

Having kids is a big economic burden. I think it's good that we make life easier for young families economically.
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Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SHiRO View Post
So 40 years is completely unrealistic when it comes to immigration, but not when it comes to current population trends?
Germany doesn't even have a net migration of +300,000/year today. In the past 10 years it had a net migration of +123,195 per year on average as I said, so believing that somehow Germany could suddenly have a net migration of +300,000 every year over the next 41 years is what's unrealistic.
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Originally Posted by SHiRO View Post
Neither you nor INSEE nor anyone else can accurately predict 40 years into the future. You don't know what the death-, birth- and immigrationrates are going to be! Maybe people will live to be a 120 in 10 years...Maybe Germany succeeds in attracting a lot of those needed immigrants...maybe for some reason many French will move to Germany even...,
Predictions are based on probability. If I plan to have my wedding in July, it's because I know that's the time of the year when there's the highest probability of sunshine, even though of course I can't be 100% sure, but still the probability is far higher than if I planned to have my wedding in March.

The population projections that have the highest probability to materialize are the central scenarios of the French and German statistical offices, like it or not. Your scenarios (sudden big increase in the German fertility rate, big fall in the French fertility, massive immigration in Germany) are not totally impossible, but they have a low probability. Just like a snow storm in the end of spring. Not totally impossible, but low probability.
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It is completely unrealistic to assume that Germany is "just" going to loose nearly 20 million people and France will just keep cruising along.
Germany is not going to lose 20 million people. In the central scenario of the German statistical office, with a net migration of +100,000 every year, Germany would lose 13 million people between now and 2050. As for France, it will not "keep cruising along". Population growth in France will slow down due to the shape of the population pyramid. The slow down will be particularly strong after 2025, but the French population will nonetheless continue to grow, albeit slower than today.
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